The Birth of Birhan Yihun

As Abigail and her friends left each house they visited, they were sure of one thing … that they could not go on with the lives they had been leading. In Abigail’s own words, “Suddenly the things we valued in our lives - our daily concerns and personal ambitions, became trivial in light of the unending and hopeless cycle of life that the children and adults of this community were trapped in.” Looking at these children who often go without eating for more than a day, they remembered their own protected childhoods, their likes and dislikes, parents pleading with them to finish their meals … and they knew they had to do something. But they did not know what.

That day first day, the foursome gave 50 Birr (US$ 2,4) to each family they visited, knowing all too well that 50 Birr would not solve their perennial problems. Nonetheless, they decided to share what they had in their pockets at the time.

They later asked the social worker if there was anything more they could do. He suggested it would be a great if they could sponsor the children to go to school since most of them could not afford to go. The amount needed was around 150 Birr (US$ 7) per child per year (~40 birr (US$ 1,9) for registration, ~60 (US$ 2,8) birr for uniform ~50 (US$ 2,4) birr for school supplies).

They also began looking into how to help the parents with their health and employment. To raise the 150 Birr/child, Abigail and her friends started asking for contributions from friends, family and coworkers. They were able to collect money to pay school expenses for 150 children.

During an on site visit of the school where the children were sponsored to attend, Abigail and her friends were informed by the school principal that some of the children were fainting in class due to lack of food in their system. They were also informed that some of the parents are HIV/AIDS positive, but they did not have the courage to get their children tested fearing to find out whether or not their children are also carriers of the disease.

With each visit to the neighborhood, more needs began to surface, and thus, Berhan Yehun was born.

Account Information

In the USA

Chase Bank acc. Routing Number 102001017
Acc.No 635143397 SWIFT Code:-chasUS33

In Ethiopia

Commercial Bank of Ethiopia,
Mekanissa Branch, SWIFT Code: CBETETAA
Account Number: 222C01000036